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Setting Up an Alcohol Addiction Intervention for Your Loved One

Interventions can be life-saving for alcoholics, but they must be organized carefully. Inviting the wrong people or saying the wrong things can make the entire endeavor a failure – and it may even make the problem worse. Alcoholics tend to suffer from denial and a host of other mental problems, and it is crucial to appeal to them with genuine love and respect. If you’re thinking about staging an intervention for an alcoholic in your life, here are a few steps you can take to make it as successful as possible.

Proper Timing

In general, it’s best to stage your intervention as soon as you recognize the problem. Alcoholism is a physically dangerous disease which can cause people to engage in reckless and even deadly behaviors. It can also quickly take dramatic tolls on people’s finances, family lives, and careers. Although some addicts only seek treatment once they’ve reached “rock bottom” and destroyed most of their lives, you should strive to prevent such damage.

Get Help from a Rehab Specialist

Most rehab facilities offer support for people organizing interventions. Although alcoholics will tend to be most responsive to appeals from people they know, the advice and understanding of an experienced rehab specialist will usually help. Once you’ve located a potential clinic for your loved one, inquire about extra help for the intervention. Clinicians may participate in the planning, and they can attend the actual meeting to act as mediator in case emotions and tensions get too high.

Wise Decisions about the People Involved

Even when alcoholics have large circles of friends and close family members, there are only certain people who will have positive impacts on their interventions. The people you invite must be able to show genuine care for the alcoholic while making it clear that their behaviors are unacceptable. There is a fine line between being respectful and condescending, and crossing it will only sadden, stress, and anger the person in question. Those who attend must also be able to remain firm as they discuss the impacts alcoholism has had on their lives – and the need for your loved one to seek treatment.

Get Everyone Prepared

Whether or not you enlist the help of a rehab specialist, you need to organize at least one meeting prior to the actual intervention. The people who are going to attend should each prepare a short letter about the ways they’ve been hurt by your loved one’s addictive behaviors. Their statements need to be heartfelt, but they must not judge or condemn the alcoholic. The entire group should also select a spokesperson to lead the intervention – someone who can calmly explain the process of clinical treatment and deliver any necessary ultimatums.

On Using Ultimatums

Depending on the severity and effects of your loved one’s alcohol addiction, you may need to give them an ultimatum. The possibilities of divorce, loss of children, and estrangement from friends and relatives could be necessary for them to understand how important it is to attend rehab. If they still decide not to seek treatment, you absolutely must follow through with your promises.

Make Plans for Clinical Treatment

Successful interventions will result in alcoholics attending rehab. Whether they choose to do so at the time of intervention or weeks later, you need to secure a spot at a treatment facility. In order to show your care and support, it is also important to escort them when they choose to go.

If you need more help finding treatment for an alcoholic or drug addict in your life, call the number at the top of your screen now for a toll-free consultation. We can set up a personalized rehab program that will have them back on their feet and living the life they deserve.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More